The OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) came up with a tool to measure subjective well-being. On their website, you can see the Better Life Index which compares 36 different countries according to 11 categories. The categories are:
Housing: rooms per person, basic facilities and cost.
Income: earning and financial assets.
Jobs: employment rate, personal earnings, job security.
Community: having friends or relatives in case of need.
Education: years in education, performance, attainment.
Environment: air pollution and water quality.
Civic engagement: governmental transparency and number of voters.
Health: life expectancy and self-reported health.
Life satisfaction: positive feelings and experiences.
Safety: assault and homicide rate.
Life-work balance: number of hours worked and time devoted to leisure and personal care.
I think this is a really interesting survey to analyse. Australia ranked higher than any other country when taking all items into consideration. However, when considering only Life Satisfaction, the item which has the closest relationship to happiness, Australia wasn’t even in the top 10. Mexico had one of the lowest ranks in general but was tenth in Life Satisfaction.
I’m going to go into detail about some specific countries for the benefit of some special readers =)
The United Kingdom scored specially high on safety, community and environment. Personally, I think these items are very important.
I’m sad to say that Brazil didn’t score well enough in any of the items. Income was actually the lowest of all 36 countries. The highest in Brazil was work-life balance. No wonder. If they can’t make any money, they should at least work less hehe.
Sweden scored really high, being second in general right after Australia. Environment was the highest which should make my friend Camila happy knowing how important this is to her. The lowest item was income, which I have to say, was quite surprising for me.
I think it’s worth mentioning that if you want to make money, the place to go is the United States. No surprises there.
Germany was pretty much in the middle in all items. Education seems to be one of its strong points.
Now, the best past: on the website you can arrange the tool to find which countries are the best according to what you think is more and less relevant. Therefore, you can find the perfect country for you =)
According to the tool, Norway would be the best for me. Not really in my plans though. They should probably include weather in this tool.
You can find yours here: OECD Better Life Index
What do you think about this survey? Are these items important? Would you include or exclude any items to measure well-being?